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business plans

updated sat 25 aug 01


Michelle Campbell on sat 8 feb 97

Hello dear Clayarters,

Once again I turn to this excellent group for valuable information.

An old building in a good location in town has come up for sale. I am
looking at it to move my studio into (from the basement), and open up a
consignment store as well. This is a HUMONGOUS jump for me, and pretty scary.

What I need, besides advice, is numbers. Would any of you with a similar
business be willing to tell me how much I could expect to bring in from the
store on a monthly business? I understand circumstances for everybody would
be different, but I need to put together a business plan, and a cash flow
forecast summary.

Do you need more information? The building is old, located right beside the
post office, just off the core of downtown, in a fair sized (Canadian) town,
pop. about 8,000. At present there is a saddlery and shoe repair shop
there, they have a cluttered store in front, and have filled themselves up
with so much junk they are moving to a larger space. I would want to
renovate the front to perhaps a larger sale space, and would have all the
back areas for my studio, as well as teaching space (I already teach out of
my home studio). I intend to fill up with consignment stock, and lots of my
pottery. I would continue selling my pots elsewhere, though not here in town.

Any encouragements, discouragements and words of advice are more than
welcome. As I say, we are at the thinking stage, but want to get going on
this in the next couple of weeks. Feel free to email me personally if you
don't want to post money matters to the group.

Thanks ever so much,

Michelle Campbell
Lacka Creek Pottery
Drayton Valley, Alberta


Robert S. Bruch on sun 9 feb 97

Michelle: the first question to ask
is whether you WANT to be in the
gallery business.

Is that the only way you can afford
to make this move?

Are you buying or renting this space?
If renting, do you need to take it all
or could you just rent the studio area?
Do you need the income from gallery sales
in order to afford the studio?

Bob Bruch

Ken L Russell on mon 10 feb 97

>>What I need, besides advice, is numbers. Would any of you with a
>>business be willing to tell me how much I could expect to bring in from
>>store on a monthly business? I understand circumstances for everybody
>>would be different, but I need to put together a business plan, and a
cash flow
>>forecast summary.

Michelle, I'm starting my third year at this pottery thing. I just moved
into a HUGE old building myself last November. 200 bucks for 5000 square
feet. Sounds great, right? There's tons of room, but I've found out the
hard way that I didn't need anywhere near this much room. I should have
spent the money it cost to move on my old space (insulation, tearing out
some walls, etc.). The down side to all this room is the cost to heat it.
I've tripled my utility costs from the old building (heck, both buildings
are old, I just use the term old building because that's where the pottery used
smaller, more efficient space.

I don't know how different your situation is from mine but definitely
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN! Get the current owners gas, electric and water bills from
"Gotchas" in moving costs so don't forget to add a few grand for that.

I don't know a thing about consignment sales you mentioned. I only sell
my own stuff out of my shop but the main source of income is from
wholesale sales. I do know this: "Build it and they will come" only works for Ke
case marketing/advertising costs. You WILL have to advertise unless your new bui
the yellow pages ain't advertising). If you're in Canada, figure that
your sales will be zip from the middle of December until the middle of
April. If there's a tourist destination location(s) nearby, NO ONE will
stop by if they don't know you're there. Word of mouth is the best form
of advertising and cheapest, however, it also brings the slowest payoff.
(REAL slow).

Tom Wirt from Clay Coyote used to own/operate a gift/pottery shop and
knows a wholelot more about running the shop, costs, retail turnaround
requirements, etc. He watches clayart so he should pipe up unless Betsy's chaine

I'm by no stretch an expert at this but hope I addressed some of your
concerns. Good luck.

Ken Russell
The Arlington Pottery

Margaret Arial on wed 12 feb 97

Check out the wiring and plumbing and ask experts for free estimates on
expected costs to bring up to your needs.Is the parking and loading
adequate?Will you be able to get any insurance you will need and will you be
able to afford the premiums for the necesssary ones(like liability) as well
as the fire,ect.Have you asked about signage rules, tax and business
liscences, misc .fees that can pop up in some circumstances(check other
merchants in your near vicinity).A good business plan is a real help then
double x double the costs and don't make expansive committments until you
get situated at where you are comfortable with status quo.The SCORE people
are help to some people and their advice is free.Hope this adds to help.

Katie Cordrey on sun 23 apr 00

Since I posted awhile back that I had templates for business plans, I've had
several requests for copies. My apologies to anyone who has not received a
response. My computer crashed and it's taken some time to get it up and
running. Hopefully, I've found and replied to requests. However, if you were
missed, or if you want business plan templates, feel free to contact me. For
more business plan information and links take a look in my file cabinet at

Good business to all!

Mert & Holly Kilpatrick on fri 24 aug 01

Several people had written recently about business plans - I noticed that
the Quicken site has quite a bit of information about business plans,
including some samples, at:

They also have business plan software for $100 - not cheap, but maybe
cheaper than a consultant!